SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


NC, PA advancing climate initiatives

Last week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), joining nine other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in a market-based collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and combat climate change. And in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper’s Climate Change Interagency Council presented four key plans related to clean energy and climate change, the result of the governor’s executive order signed last year to reaffirm the state’s commitment to fighting climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy.

Future of work and shared prosperity hinge on policies, efforts

If Americans are going to build better careers and share prosperity as technological changes occur, the U.S. will have to implement more comprehensive policies, according to an MIT task force’s preliminary report titled The Work of the Future: Shaping Technology and Institutions. The task force, convened in spring 2018, was motivated by the paradox that despite a decade of low unemployment and rising prosperity in the U.S., there is a pessimism surrounding technology and work, which it says is “a reflection of a decades-long disconnect between rising productivity and stagnant incomes for the majority of workers.”

$44.4 million announced in new POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced $44.4 million in 54 awards to help expand and diversify the economy in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. One third (more than $14.6 million) of these investments will develop business incubators, increase access to capital, and provide other services to advance entrepreneurship in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

VC market: Q3 drops from 2018, still on pace for huge year

PitchBook and NVCA just released the 3rd quarter Venture Monitor, and the year-to-date figures show another year of robust activity. Total deal value is set to exceed $100 billion again, and exit value is already at $227 billion. Deal and exit count, however, appear on pace to finish below the last several years, with 7,862 investments and 633 exits to date so far.

Innovation on hold for 1-out-of-4 SBIR winners

Federal agencies fail, on average, 24 percent of the time to notify applicant small businesses of award decisions within required deadlines. A small business has a zero percent chance of being able to plan to start an innovation project within six months if they apply to ARPA-E (the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency) or the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, both of which never met the deadline. 

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out.

Pilot study of Defense labs’ R&D partnerships finds $23 billion economic impact

The Department of Defense commissioned a pilot study by TechLink of the economic impact of cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAs) at three Defense labs — U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, and the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing.

Manufacturing Day celebrates industry, works to increase workforce

Addressing common misperceptions about the industry, Manufacturing Day — held tomorrow, Oct. 4 — strives to address skilled labor shortages manufacturers face by opening the doors of different manufacturers to the public and showing what manufacturing is, and isn’t. The day was created in 2012 with the support of many organizations educating the public on modern manufacturing, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Board makes four recommendations to increase Skilled Technical Workforce

Expanding and diversifying the nation’s Skilled Technical Workforce (STW) is vital to the nation’s future, according to a new report from the policymaking board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that predicts a shortfall of 3.4 million skilled technical workers by 2022 unless changes are made.

Useful Stats: Job Creation by Firm Age, 2014-2018

For years, there have been arguments back and forth on which companies are the greatest job creators. The argument began with advocates for small businesses saying that small businesses were the engine of job creation. In recent years, others have argued that it’s not the size of the business that’s significant so much as the age of the business and that it’s young businesses that create most of the jobs.

Analysis by SSTI of Census Bureau’s Business Employment Dynamics (BDM) data finds a more nuanced picture when examining states’ shares of net job creation by firm age.

Free tuition offerings continue to evolve in states across the US

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham became the latest governor to propose a plan for free tuition, with what has been called the “one of the most ambitious attempts to make higher education more accessible.” If approved, the plan would allow in-state students to attend any of the 29 state public colleges or universities, regardless of income. It is designed as a “last-dollar” program.

Manufacturing Institutes strengthen industry partnerships, R&D, workforce in 2018

Manufacturing USA recently released its 2018 annual report highlighting the progress its 14 associated institutes have made in growing the Manufacturing USA network, increasing manufacturing technology development and technology transfer, and promoting workforce development.

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